Be HAPPIE and Have a Healthy Mouth

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tooth happyAn fun acronym for a Healthy Mouth

H ormones
A ntioxidants
P laque
I nflammation
E ntourage of second opinion

Hormone irregularities cause dysfunction in the mouth. Estrogen imbalance, thyroid problems and elevated cortisol are all common today and are also associated with dental problems. The parotid hormone is less known but is regulated by the hypothalamus and has a direct correlation with either protecting teeth or allowing teeth to be susceptible to problems.

Antioxidants, when consumed internally, but also when used externally provide protection to teeth and gums. Conversely anything that decreases antioxidant stores in the body will have negative effects on the mouth.

pH is a measure of the acidity in the mouth. Testing one’s mouth pH is the most simple and cost effective action one can take and yet provides powerful information to help prevent dental problems. It is a way to check eternally what is going on internally in the body (just like the teeth!).

Having healthy plaque involves several aspects.
1. Reducing the level of plaque build-up in the first place. This is affected by:
– Saliva production (affected by hormones, stress, lifestyle)
– Optimal breathing habits (commonly interfered with by allergies)
– Foods (some cause more or less plaque to be produced)
2. Having plaque that contains non-pathogenic bacteria as opposed to pathogenic (the good, not bad bacteria)
– Similar concept as good gut bacteria (and the gut is connected to the mouth – physically by way of the digestive tract)
– This is achieved by increasing good bacteria and decreasing pathogenic (bad) bacteria
3. Removal of plaque through oral hygiene techniques
– Brushing and flossing are important. They are however, only PART of the total picture of having healthy plaque

Increased inflammation in the body has a directly negative effect on the teeth and gums. Inside teeth there is blood and they are not at all separate from the rest of the body. Decreasing inflammation in one’s body will be beneficial for the mouth (and rest of the body).

Entourage of Second Opinions
What many people don’t realize is that diagnoses and treatment plans are not black and white like a math equation with a right and a wrong answer. That is why there is the joke that if you ask ten different dentists (medical doctors, naturopathatic doctors, veterinarians, ….) you get ten different answers. If you feel uncomfortable you should get a second opinion.

So you can see by looking over this list there are many areas to address when working towards a healthy mouth. Don’t give up if you feel like you are doing everything and are still having problems. You can do it! You can have that healthy mouth you desire!